In my opinion the 30A area in Florida is the perfect place for a multigenerational family vacation. There is something to do here for all ages.
A family beach vacation on 30A caters to families who are looking for a casual and easy-going family summer get-away. It will allow you and your family to take a little break from reality.
Plus, it is beautiful.
30A has beautiful communities and beautiful architecture, and most of all beautiful beaches.
My husband and I and our two daughters recently hit the road south to Florida along with my two sisters, their families, and our mother.
There were 13 of us ranging in age from 13 to 79.
Multi-generational travel is the best!
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So, just what is this 30A of which I speak?
Scenic 30A is a stretch of beach road in South Walton County in the panhandle of Florida. You can learn more planning a beach vacation on 30A in this post.
This area has grown tremendously in recent years and is studded with nice little beach communities. We have a post that will help you look into each of these communities and get a feel for their “personality.”
The road is lined with new condominiums and beach houses. In fact, the original structures are so rare that it became a pleasure to spot one.
There are a few pockets of preserved areas and state parks that do allow a glimpse of the coastal dune lakes as well as gorgeous white sand dunes and the ocean.
How are the 30A Beaches?
It is a shame that you can rarely see the beaches while driving the length of 30A because they are a sight to behold.
These are some of the most perfect beaches in the US. They have blindingly white sand lapped by clear waters that are a beautiful turquoise/green color.
The beaches here are truly stunning.
While we were on our vacation the waves were negligible which is pretty normal for the summer months and one of the many reasons that these are great beaches for families with children.
Family Beach Vacation on 30A: Accommodations?
Accommodation on 30A range from the most exclusive beach resorts to state parks with tent camping and everything in between.
It is all up to what you and your family like and can afford.
Your choices are mostly going to be single family vacation homes, duplexes, or condominium units. This is what most families rent when coming to 30A.
Some of these you will find on VRBO or Airbnb. But for many of the vacation rentals you will have to use a local agency to rent a place. Just google vacation rentals in (name of the community in which you want to stay) and many local rental agencies will pop up.
It is important to know that many of the vacation rentals on 30A are not right on the ocean. They will require a short walk, bike, or golf cart ride to get to a beach access point.
A home right on the water is really a bonus for multigenerational travel as it allows everyoe to come and go from the ocean as they please.
We loved walking right off the deck of our rented duplex, down our private boardwalk, and straight onto the beach.
The important thing is to check the fine print as you select your 30A family beach vacation accommodations to make sure that you are not TOO far from the ocean.
For our family beach vacation on 30A it was amazingly convenient to just be able to run back and forth from the house to the beach at will.
We enjoyed morning coffee with ocean views, evening wine with ocean breezes, running in from the beach to have a sandwich for lunch, grabbing a quick nap on the couch while everyone else was playing in the water…yep, we were spoiled by our perfect location.
Which Community is Best for Your Family Beach Vacation on 30A?
The named communities on 30A each have a different feeling and a different price point.
From west to east the beach towns along 30A are: Dune Allen Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Seagrove Beach, WaterSound Beach, Seacrest Beach, Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach.
We have an entire post that will tell you about each of the 30A beach towns. Hopefully that will help you to pick the best area for your family!
Seaside is extremely walkable with a great town square, a ridiculously adorable post office, boutique shopping, and and a line of airstream food trucks.
Oh, and crowds. Seaside is arguably the most crowded area on 30A, but that is because it has every activity a family might want. Accessibility combined with its pastel house and white picket fence perfection make it easy to see why people flock there.
Rosemary Beach is another well-known community where the southern rich and a few of the famous hang out. It is beautiful and pristine as well as walkable and rideable.
The roads and the large green space in this section of 30A are lined with live oaks which give Rosemary Beach a beautiful sense of southern grace and charm.
There is a quaint farmer’s market along with high-end shopping and a variety of restaurants. The homes are connected by paths and boardwalks.
We stayed near Camp Creek Lake in the Seacrest area.
The disadvantages of Seacrest is that it is the least commercial of the 30A beach communities. We were not within walking distance of shops and restaurants.
The advantages were the relative seclusion and lack of crowds. We rented a house right on the ocean with our own boardwalk up and over the dunes. It was It was lovely and a perfect location for us.
There are several more neighborhood and/or beach options along 30A than the ones I’ve mentioned here which you can learn about on our aforementioned blog post.
I’m sure that you will be able to find the perfect fit for your family!
What are some Things to do While on Your Family Beach Vacation on 30A?
There are so many things to do on 30A! We have a post all about the best things to do on 30A in addition to the beach.
It was all beach all the time for our crew. The weather was gorgeous and the waves were negligible. It was perfect for swimming and floating around.
Our house came with four umbrellas and chairs which were delivered and set up each morning and taken down at night. Like magic! Some rental properties and resorts include this type of service.
However, with 13 people we needed more chairs and umbrellas so we rented more and had those set up and taken down every evening.
If your vacation rental doesn’t provide chairs you will find that there are many chair rental places that you can use that provide this wonderful service.
I think this is well worth doing especially if you are not located right on the beach.
State Parks on 30A
There are 5 state parks on 30A! If your family is seeking beaches that are a little less crowded, or if some of you want to do some hiking or birdwatching then check out one of the state parks.
The fees to enter are pretty small and the parks are a real treasure in this area.
Coastal Lakes along 30A
We stayed near Camp Creek Lake, which is one of the coastal dune lakes in the area.
These little lakes that line the beach along 30A are a rare geological phenomenon! These are lakes that lie just inside the beach dunes and there are 15 of them in the 30A area.
The only other coastal dune lakes in the world are located in Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, and Oregon.
Some of the lakes have access for the public to do things like kayak and paddle board and fish. Several are located in the state parks.
Read more about the coastal dune lakes in this post.
Your family might enjoy biking while on 30A. The Timpoochee trail runs the length of the area and is a great way to get around.
There are many companies that rent bikes for the week. Also some of the vacation rentals actually provide bicycles for their guests.
Paddle boarding is another great 30A activity. You can paddle board on the coastal dune lakes, but often in the summer the ocean is so smooth that you can paddle board right by the beach.
We rented a couple of paddle boards and had a great time learning to use them.
Play Games on the Beach
Then we tried Kubb.
This was a crazy, new to most of us, Swedish tossing game. You throw wooden dowel type thingies at the other team’s wooden rectangle type thingies…ok, it’s too hard to explain…but worth looking into!
We found this to be a great family game for all ages because you don’t actually have to be good. Seriously.
You don’t have to have any talent or athletic ability AT ALL! A team can suddenly win at the end even if they haven’t managed to do anything well throughout the entire game.
Playing games on the beach was one of our favorite past times.
Play indoor games in the evenings
Our favorite inside game on this trip was Telestrations which is a drawing game.
This is another activity that is perfect for a wide variety of age ranges to play together. I haven’t laughed so hard in months!
Your family might prefer board games or cards but definitely bring some fun things to do in the evenings after dinner.
Walk on the Beach at Sunset
Just go to your close beach access point and start walking west. The sunsets on 30A are glorious.
Beach Essentials for Your Family Vacation on 30A
I do consider a chair and umbrella to be a necessity for a day at the beach. And as I have mentioned, some of ours were provided and the others we rented them from a local rental agency. However, you can certainly bring your beach chairs and umbrellas!
Some of the vacation rentals provide beach towels but many will expect you to bring your own. They will all ask you not to bring the bath towels to the beach. Check the fine print and bring your own towels if necessary.
The Florida sun is intense to you will definitely want some good sunscreen!
Here is a list of some more items that we consider to be beach essentials!
And what about food?
Y’all there are a ton of great restaurants along 30A!
However, on this particular vacation we ate all but one of our dinners at our own house with each family taking turns cooking.
I gotta tell ya, we are good cooks! We had muffalettas, pasta with shrimp and cream sauce, fried fish tacos…yum!
Most of our lunches were sandwiches or snack-y meals at the house, although we did venture into Seaside one day to try lunch at the airstream food trucks. I definitely recommend the The Melt Down for a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.
If you have ever traveled with extended family you know that the dynamics can be a tricky thing, but this family beach vacation on 30A went exceptionally well.
I especially love observing the interaction of the cousins. It fills my heart to see how much they all love each other and how much fun they have with one another.
Vacationing together isn’t something our family does very often, but perhaps we should!
If you’ve managed to read this far then I’d love to hear about YOUR family vacations!
We do often take family trips on a much smaller scale. For example we took our granddaughter to Bryson City, NC earlier in the summer and had a great time with her.
Here are some more posts that you might be interested in checking out!
Posts About 30A Florida
Thanks so much for stopping by.